Chapter V.7. Chatting with Windows Live Messenger

In This Chapter

  • Introducing Windows Live Messenger

  • Using Messenger effectively

  • Working with voice, pictures, and more

  • Making Windows forget how to log you on automatically

In the preceding chapter, I talk about the sorry state of Windows Live Mail: Microsoft now has five distinct mail programs, in dozens of versions, each with its own wrinkles and each with a basketful of pluses and minuses. And double minuses.

Instant messaging (IM) in the Microsoft milieu used to have the same problem. When Windows XP ruled the roost, we had Windows Messenger, MSN Messenger, and .NET Messenger, all from Microsoft, each with its own foibles and bumbles. Some versions of some Microsoft IM programs wouldn't even talk to others.

With Vista, some sanity returned to Microsoft's instant messaging mess: Starting with Vista, and continuing with Windows 7, exactly one (recent) offering exists, although it has a funny name — Windows Live Messenger — and you have to keep downloading and installing new versions. Never mind.


Like every Windows Live Essential application (see Book I, Chapter 5), Windows Live Messenger isn't part of Windows. It's an add-on program. Windows Live Messenger, more than any other Windows Live Essential, marches to the tune of its own drummer.

This chapter touches on the high points of Windows Live Messenger, particularly where the Messenger hooks into Windows 7 itself. I step you through installing Windows Live Messenger, give a few pointers ...

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